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Brand Sustainability Assignment: Analyzing Digital Marketplace of Nike’s Website

Question

Task:
Sneakers have revolutionised fashion, lifestyle and the environment.
Sneakers and streetwear have revolutionised fashion, lifestyle and the environment.

Global Footwear Market Report 2021, reports that the Sneaker Market is Projected to Reach $403.2 Billion USD by 2025 - Driven by New Design Trends and Rising Discretionary Spending Among an Expanding Middle Class Population.

From Nike, Toms, Puma, Adidas to Converse, Veja, Yeezy to Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel everyone is wearing sneakers. Kanye West, Mark Zuckerberg, Taylor Swift, Virat Kohli, Beyonce and people from all walks of life both young and old are wearing sneakers. The sneaker industry like all industries has had to pivot itself to environmentally friendly and sustainable sneakers. Spain, Italy and many countries in South America are leading the way in producing sneakers made of recyclable materials including food.

In this sustainability assignment you will audit, analyze and evaluate the social and digital media of an environmentally and sustainable sneaker brand.

Answer

Introduction
The company that has been chosen for this sustainability assignment is Nike, which is one of the topmost and renowned brands across the globe. The company was established by Philip Knight and Bill Bowerman in the year 1964. The company is well known for the production of athletics footwear, sportswear, accessories, and equipment while supplying products in over 170 nations worldwide (Meyer, 2019). One of the major reasons behind the success of the company can be mainly regarded as the sustainable strategy of the company, while primarily focusing on the corporate social responsibilities. Since the 90s, the company has emphasized the implementation of new design principles such as "designs for the environment". Therefore, this report audit and analyze the brand’s website through Porter’s Value Chain model, in order to evaluate the brand’s sustainability. The report culminates with three recommendations for the brand in aid to enhance the value offered to the customers based on eco-friendly and sustainable products.

Discussion
The company has made a significant improvement in terms of improving its corporate and social responsibility. Therefore, the primary reason for choosing Nike as an environmentally and sustainable brand is because, in recent days the company has been mainly focusing on the production of eco-friendly, and sustainable products. The company has made several positive changes in its operations in terms of sustainable apparel coalition (Robertson, 2020). The company has been aiming towards making significant use of both recycled and recyclable polyester, cotton, and organic materials for manufacturing environmentally and sustainable products. Furthermore, the firm has also replaced its supply chain with the use of sustainability in order to grow strategically, in terms of designing, completing, and processing its products and materials (Imran, 2017).

Audit and analysis
Based on the research, the company is highly engaged and active in various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. These social media platforms have been one of the significant tools for the company in order to connect with its customers, as well as for brand promotion. The company is one of the most followed brands in social media and operates around 316 social media profiles in order to create a multitude of geolocations, and products. It has also been found that the online presence of the company has been diversified in order to create separate pages in regards to its products while engaging various target customers. The social media strategy of the company emphasizes more on the ads rather than the comments of the customers, and the company has been successfully engaging over 33 million followers on its main Facebook page (Ravi, 2019). Based on the evidence, one of the most successful campaign posts of the company that engage maximum customers was "Breaking2", a world-class marathon, which was anticipated by renowned public figures such as Lelisa Desisa, Liud Kipchoge, and Zersenay Tadese, featuring the product of the company, while engaging a wide range of customers.

According to FY18 Nike Impact Report (2020), the company continues to scale production of sneakers that are made up of at least 50%sustainable materials.

sustainable practice in sustainability 1

Fig.1: sustainable practice in Nike
Source: (FY18 Nike Impact Report, 2020)

Nike is actively engaged with its customers through the various platforms of social media, in concern to the launch of its innovative products. The company has launched various collections of sneakers such as Air Max 90s, and 95s, Air Force 1, Air Zoom Type, etc, which are made up of recyclable synthetic leather, as a step towards manufacturing environmentally and sustainable sneaker Brain.

Porter’s value chain model
Porter’s value chain model is a tool of strategic management in order to analyze the value chain of the company. This value chain model has been broken down into five major factors such as inbound and outbound logistics, operations, sales and marketing, and services. In concern to this value chain model, it has been identified that the company has an international procurement team in order to maintain the procurement part in regards to its supply chain management. In recent decades, the supply chain model of the company is primarily focused on sustainability and quality standards. The company prefers both physical and online sales channels (Pratap, 2018).

Based on Porter’s value chain model, the three recommendations that can be made for the company in order to enhance the marketing sales are as follows:

Cost reduction- Cost reduction plays a vital role in terms of maximizing sales because it is a process through which the company can reduce the cost while enhancing its profits. Therefore following the cost reduction technique, the company will aid towards maximizing sales, because it will allow the company to control the product development. The company will also be able to serve the high-quality product at a low cost that will eventually boost the marketing sale of the company.

Competitive differentiation- Following this, the company can also determine a strategic position, undertaking which the company can set its product and services apart from its competitors. It can be achieved through product support, and marketing campaigns, that will enhance the marketing sales of the company.

Decreased waste- In regards to sustainability, the company is also recommended to decrease waste, within the context of Porter’s value chain model. If the will be able to decrease the waste then it will be helpful for the company to reduce certain costs as well, while enhancing the marketing sales of the company.

Conclusion
The overall assignment has been focused on the history of the environmentally and sustainable brand to be produced by the chosen brand, i.e. Nike. As per the overall analysis, it has been identified that the company has maintained its engagement with the activities in various social media platforms, which has been helping them to be an eco-friendly business. In further discussion, the assignment has analyzed the strategic management of the firm through the model of Porter's Value Chain Model. After the overall analysis, the assignment has provided a set of recommendations to the firm in regard to the sustainability factor.

Recommendations
In order to maximize the values offered to the customers, by producing more ethical sneakers, while delivering a strong message through social media platforms, three recommendations have been made for the company, which are as below:

Build trust and loyalty- The Company can enhance the value offered to the customers by building trust and loyalty with the customers. While focusing on the production of ethical sneakers, the company should also prioritize the value of the customers. Once the trust has will build with the customers, then the company can deliver a strong message through its campaigns on social media platforms, which will influence the wide range of loyal customers.

Use of Messenger-The Company can also make use of the private messenger, through social media; with the help of which the customers will be conveniently connected with the brand. With this, the company can not only promote the production of its ethics, but the company will also be able to privately send a strong message regarding sustainability to the customers, which will have a major influence on the customers.

Managing review- Managing reviews create the credibility of the brand in the eyes of the customers. If the company will acknowledge the review of the customers, it will definitely add more values that are offered to the customers.

Furthermore, in order to deliver a strong message via social media, the company can also organize campaigns regarding the production of ethical sneakers while focusing on the repair recycle, and redesign process Fibre2Fashion, 2019). It will not only help to produce sustainable sneakers, but through it, the company can also deliver a strong message to the consumers through its official websites or social media regarding sustainability.

References
Brain, E. (2021, January 7). Nike Steps Further Towards a Sustainable Future With New Recycled Material Sneakers. HYPEBEAST. https://hypebeast.com/2021/1/nike-sustainable-sneaker-air-max-90-am95-blazer-mid-zoom-type-af1-07-lv8-recycled

Fibre2Fashion. (2019, December).5 Ways to Make Fashion Industry More Sustainable in The Year 2020. Www.fibre2fashion.com. https://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/8520/5-ways-to-make-fashion-industry-more-sustainable-in-the-year-2020

FY18 Nike Impact Report. (2020). FY18 Impact Report 2 About This Report 3 Report Content. https://purpose-cms-production01.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/20194957/FY18_Nike_Impact-Report_Final.pdf

Imran. (2017). NIKE: Is it the Sustainability Transformation of the Decade? – Technology and Operations Management. Hbs.edu. https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-rctom/submission/nike-is-it-the-sustainability-transformation-of-the-decade/

Meyer, J. (2019, August 14). History of Nike: Timeline and Facts. Sustainability assignment TheStreet; TheStreet. https://www.thestreet.com/lifestyle/history-of-nike-15057083

Pratap, A. (2018, February 22). Nike Value Chain Analysis. Notesmatic. https://notesmatic.com/value-chain-analysis-of-nike/

Ravi, K. (2019, February 13). How Nike became a Leader on Social Media. Unmetric Social Media Analytics Blog. https://blog.unmetric.com/nike-social-media

Robertson, L. (2020, August 14). How Ethical is Nike? Good on You. https://goodonyou.eco/how-ethical-is-nike/

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